HISTORY

Treatments
BABY #1- 6 Clomid cycles, 2 IUIs with Femara, 1 IVF with 3 embryos transferred, 2 more IUIs with Femara & Follistim, and finally 1 IUI with Follistim.
BABY #2 - 2 Follistim cycles and natural conception

Timing
Decided to start a family May 2005. After testing & un-related delays, began first treatment cycle Oct 2005. First pregnancy confirmed Sept 2007. Second pregnancy confirmed Mar 2011.

For other IF couples
If you want to skip back to our infertility adventures, please see the history on the right hand margin. There you can find our journey from 2005 through 2007.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

preparing fido

As many of my readers know, Jack & I have four big dogs. Dogs who have been the giant babies of the household for years. We also have a cat that runs the house. Even before we got pregnant, we started considering how we would all survive once baby arrived.

Soon after finding out it was a boy, we got 'Practice Jaxon' as he's called around here. Practice Jaxon is just a little kids doll that I bought (and replaced all the pink clothes with a blue onesie) that makes some baby noises. The sounds were a bit fake, but a good start. We haven't used it as often as we had planned, but have worked with the dogs so they understand what is or is not allowed while we are holding the baby. We even slathered a bunch of baby lotion on it so they could get used to the smells too.

We'd also read that you should play baby sounds, real baby sounds, to get your pets used to it. So we had ordered a CD with baby sounds. I'm not going to link to the site where I purchased it because we did have shipping issues. But if you need a CD like this, simply google 'dog baby sounds' and you'll have several to choose from. (Side note: We ordered 'preparing fido' and the CD itself is great. It arrived a month after we purchased it which is why I'm not directly recommending them. They also did not respond to my email request trying to find out where the CD was, but were very responsive once I had called to complain). Anyway, we choose a CD with various sounds. The majority are, of course, crying but it does include cooing, bathtime, laughing, etc. I'd make sure you can see the track listing including amount of time. I passed over a few selections because it was not clear what would be on the CD or it only had a few minutes worth of sounds.

Tonight we tried the CD for the first time & I have to say I was surprised at the results. With four dogs, we have a variety of personalities in the house. I expected one dog to become nervous, pace & maybe cry, another to become hyper & want my attention, one to run away & had no idea what to expect from the youngest. Instead, we got a whole lot of nothing, lol. Which is good I suppose. I played the CD on a reasonable volume (directions say to start off on a low volume for short periods and then work up to a 'true to life' volume) from my computer in the office. At the time, three dogs & the kitty were all in the office & close enough to clearly hear the sounds. The youngest (our biggest Great Dane) jumped up & ran over to my desk staring in the direction of the speakers with that cute head tilt dogs have. He sniffed around my desk for a few seconds then got bored & laid back down. Our Rottie perked up her ears & stared at my desk but within seconds she was over it. Our lab/pit mix, who I thought would be the one to be nervous & cry, didn't even move. I'm not sure how much the other Dane in the living room could hear, but no response there either. Kitty was sitting on his window perch which is pretty close to the speakers & he didn't even turn his head. Overall I was very surprised. I really thought it would take more work to get them to be that calm while the sounds played. I only played the sounds for about 10 minutes at the low volume. So I guess I'll play the sounds a little louder & a little longer tomorrow. I think I'll try it at different times of the day (since I'm WAH) and see if that makes a difference too. They might just be so tired from a long day & full tummies that they didn't respond as much as they might otherwise.

For my local ladies (StephE?) - if you want to borrow the CD, let me know. Also, here are a couple local resources that I've checked out. They also have good information for anyone not local. I had planned on attending one of the workshops but timing & money never seemed to work out. I found these folks through one of our dog trainers.
-Family Paws
-Dogs & Storks

Other tips we've read/heard but have not tried all yet:
- Setup baby items early such as the swing, bouncer, highchair, rocker, etc. early
- Let pets sniff baby items (clothes, blankets, crib, car seat, etc) & nursery
- Have Dad bring home one of the receiving blanket before baby comes home
- When home from hospital, Dad should bring in the baby (showing dogs that baby is higher in pack order) and Mom should greet dogs since she's likely been away for several days.
- Don't force dog to go near baby if he's not interested (this applies in most situations whether its a new dog, cat, baby or something else that upsets dog like the vacuum. Forcing them only scares them more).
- And of course, always supervise pets near baby!

minor panic

For some reason this morning when I woke up, the first thing on my mind was that I have just under seven weeks to go before my due date. And I panicked a little!

When we were talking with the doc yesterday, he said something to the effect that we'd be plenty happy if we didn't have to wait all the way until our due date. He told Jack that by 39 weeks, he'll be praying for the baby to come so he can get his wife back (ha!). If Jaxon comes early, then I obviously have less than 7 weeks to be ready. Um.. am I ready? Is Jack ready? Ack...

Ok panic subsiding... logically we are about ready. We have a car seat so we can bring baby home. The nursery is pretty much done other than some aesthetics and some organization I hope to accomplish in the closet. But it's definitely functional & he has a place to sleep. We plan to try to breastfeed, so formula is not an issue. We have a good start on disposable diapers thanks to my early purchases while I had coupons plus all the diapers we got as gifts from friends.. so his tushie will be covered, literally.

But am I ready for L&D? No I don't think I am. We don't go to our labor class until the middle of April. (Since we opted for the weekend version instead of weeknights, the class had to be scheduled closer to our due date according to the hospital). Jack did have his daddy class this past weekend, so he got to talk to other dads. He came back with lots of info & some interesting things for us to consider. I do hope we at least make it to the labor class before JP decides to grace us with his presence!

Monday, March 24, 2008

33 week checkup

Our 33 week checkup passed rather uneventfully. Jack picked me up since my car broke down this weekend (yes the Mustang is out of commission right now... ugh). All the regular checks looked good, they were happy with my blood sugar levels, and my weight was ok (17lbs gained so far).

We saw one of the doctors I had not met yet & he checked my uterus & the baby's heartbeat. I did have one question for him about some pain I'd been having. Turns out it's normal & that there is not a lot I can do about it. I'd been having this odd pain that felt like a combo between a bruise & a sting or rash. It was right under my right breast near my ribs. I think I had mentioned this in my rant the other day when I was so uncomfortable. Turns out it's something to do with the way my uterus is expanding over my ribs and that it's common for it to be on the right side. Ice or a heating pad is about all I can do for it but he did say that as the uterus continues to grow, it actually should get better.

When we were done, Jack asked if that was it, said it seemed like a hassle to go just for that. We do spend more time driving than we spend there in the office. But it is what it is. I go back for my 35 week checkup and then it's every week til Jax shows up.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

uncomfy mama

One of the things I hated most while going through fertility treatment was a whiny pregnant lady. I mean, here I was going thru all this pain, discomfort, doc appts & procedures just trying to get to where they already were. I always wanted to yell at them & tell them to suck it up. Be grateful & you know that your pain is going to end & even know roughly when it will end. Mine just kept going on & on with no distinct end in sight.

Well I STILL feel that way. BUT I can say that I understand a little more. If you didn't have all the pre-pregnancy crap that IFers do, then maybe you would be a little more inclined to complain. Though I still flip at ANY woman that complains about being fat while pregnant - this is the time you are SUPPOSED to get bigger! That being said..

Today is one of those days! Really the last few days. I'm having trouble sleeping of course.. no news there. But along with that, today there was a lack of appetite (which is hard when I'm supposed to be eating 6 meals for the blood sugar control), lack of energy/motivation, discomfort no matter how I tried to sit in my office chair or even when I tried to take a break & lay down, diarrhea (hey if you've been with me on this journey you know I'm not holding back), constipation (yes you can have both), serious bloating/gas feeling after eating and some odd bruise-like feeling just near the top of my uterus. Plus I'm still sniffling & have a little itch in my throat from my nasty cold & cough last week. Surprisingly, I really don't have any backpain during the day still.. only sometimes at night. But thank goodness I work at home! I've been able to sit around in the most comfortable clothes I can find, wear a sports bra, put my feet up, lay down on my soft bed at breaks, and not worry about finding a deserted bathroom somewhere in the office bldg when I had to go!

Maybe if I was more interested in my job right now it would be easier to take care of at least the energy/motivation part. I'm bored out of my skull at work. I have things to do.. but I don't like any of them. I've gotten to where I'm counting down the days (54). Of course I'm excited about JP showing up.. but during the day I think more about how I will be off work for awhile. Hopefully I can come back to work a little more pumped up. My boss actually said that this week in a meeting I had with her. We were talking about what I'd be doing when I come back (pretty much up in the air because we have a lot of change coming) and she said hopefully I'll be 'rarin to go' or something to that effect.

Next checkup is Monday so I should be posting again soon. Plus I'm due for another belly shot any day now. Will try to get that up this week. I'm certainly NOT having my picture taken today.. there's no way I want today recorded on film!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

pregnant ballet

I love the web! You can find the craziest stuff. I hope someone puts this out on YouTube after the show.

A dozen pregnant women wanted - for ballet...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

31wk checkup

Thank goodness for that lovely Dr.White! He gave me a Rx on Monday to help me get over this nasty cough. I've been sick only a few days (started Saturday) but I'm feeling pretty yucky. The bad news is that he said I'm probably looking at a couple weeks to fully recover. I actually spent all day yesterday in bed. I think Jack was shocked when he came home to find that I'd not been out of bed all day. Well thats a little of an exagerration. I did get up to let the dogs out, pee, and get a little food though I didn't eat much. Though all told, I'd say I slept 35 of the last 48 hours. Hopefully the combo of a day of rest & the Rx has me well on my way to better. I couldn't take today off so I'm glad I had yesterday. Today & tomorrow I needed to be in a workshop on an important project at work. I guess I wasn't really 'in' it - I was supposed to be there in person, but I didn't think anyone wanted my germs so listened in via phone all day.

Doc also had some other good news for me. He thought my two weeks of checking my blood sugar levels looked really great. And he didn't think there was any reason for me to have to keep it up everyday. So now I've got his permission to only check it three days a week (but still 4x/day) and to 'cheat' on the weekends :) How lovely!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Thursday, March 06, 2008

update for this week

I've been meaning to post all week, but have been so busy. So this is either going to be a long post, or short versions of each update :)

Gestational Diabetes Update:
Monday I finally met with the dietician to get my meter & learn how I'm supposed to eat. I got a great little meter that takes a tiny amount of blood (packaging claims 'worlds smallest sample size') and they are letting me poke my arm instead of finger. I can barely even feel it. She told me I could use the lowest setting, but I ended up going up one to speed up the process. I do have to check my blood sugar 4x/day so faster is better. I have to keep a record of all the values to show my doc.
Then she taught me all about my new diet. It's really not as bad as I thought it would be, though it is still a bit restrictive on the carbs of course. No soda, no fruit juice, and no fruit in the mornings. I have a little chart that tells me each category I can eat at which meal & how much of it. For example, I'm supposed to eat 1 serving grain, 1oz protein, 1 serving dairy, and 1 serving healthy fat at breakfast. Then I have another chart that tells me a bunch of example foods for each category. So 1 cup of milk counts as a serving of dairy (it's been hard for me to limit myself to just a cup of milk - I usually would pour a big glass full). So I've been eating okay so far and haven't had any blood sugar values go too high. If they do hit certain values, I have to call the doc.
I'm also eating a lot of meals.. so I feel like my day revolves around food & testing right now. I start off with taking a 'fasting blood sugar' when I get up. Then I have breakfast & test 2 hrs later. Then snack, lunch, test 2hrs later. Then snack, dinner, test 2hrs later. Then final snack before bedtime... so total 6 meals, 4 tests. Thank goodness this is only for 67 more days :)

Shower/Nursery Update:
I already mentioned we had a nursery full of gifts to go through. My calendar has been full, so we knew we couldn't get to it Mon, Wed, or tonight. So we dug into it Tues night after work. I spent a couple hours in there myself just taking all the clothes & etc out of giftbags & boxes, throwing out the trash, & saving cards, etc. When I got to where I really didn't think I could do anymore, Jack came in to help. We put together the highchair (which was really easy, seems like a good chair to us, guess the real test will be when JP is old enough to use it), the swing, and put all the bedding on the crib. Jack hung one of the items on the wall (the only one I was 100% sure where I wanted it) and we put as much as we could into the closet. So far things have just been stored whereever they will fit, until I get the chance to start organizing & deciding how we'll use everything. I have a few storage items I need to get like baskets & shelves. There are still lots of gifts sitting out that I need to go through & put away like a lot of clothes & the bags & a few items that we didn't want to unbox yet because he won't use them for the first months. But it's really coming together. The bedding looks great! I'll get a pic of it & the rocker once I get all the other stuff out of the way.

Mama & Baby:
In between all this talk about showers & the nursery, some of you have asked how JP & I are doing. We are both good I think. For the most part I'm feeling good. I am starting to get a little tired again, and I know that's only going to get worse. I'm really sleeping pretty good I think. Of course I get up 3-4x/night for a potty break plus a few other times to adjust pillows but always fall right back asleep.
I've gotten the 'puppy' into a new habit that I'm not crazy about. He was having morning accidents by the door, so I started letting him out early in the morning. Usually it's the same time as my last 'potty break' of the morning, but if I don't wake up on my own, now he's waking me. So we're now on a pretty regular schedule with going out at 6am, it'll be interesting to see how this fits in with JP's schedule when he gets on one.
Other than that, I have a few aches & discomforts that come with all the extra weight, but doing pretty well still.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Baby Showers!

Thanks to everyone who came to my showers or sent a gift! I really enjoyed both the work shower & family/friends shower!!

My work threw a shower at the office on Wed. (yea I actually went into the office for that). We had a pretty good turnout & it was co-ed. My friend AH planned a couple cute games and decorated a conference room. The group went in on a big gift - our stroller (the big travel system kind that has a car seat too) and a diaper bag! Jack put the stroller together yesterday & I was excited to see it should fit in the mustang trunk (was worried about that). We also got lots of cute outfits and handy items like lotions, wipes, bibs, etc. My stepmom & little sis joined me at the shower. My sis was so cute, she loves to help open the gifts. And she liked all the little plastic baby items on the cake. We had a good time! I forgot my camera, so I'll have to post some pics once I get them from my stepmom or AH.

Yesterday we had the family/friends shower at my aunts house. Everything was beautiful of course and lots of my sorority sisters, family, a few of Jack's co-workers & one of my high school friends came. There were so many great gifts! I was a little overwhelmed. We got a lightweight stroller, a travel swing, travel bed, highchair, bedding, tons of clothes, bibs, towels, etc, a few bags for either diapers or overnight, and a bunch of other wonderful things we needed. Before opening gifts, we dug into the food and played some games. Aunt J had some help hosting from two of my ChiO sisters, CW & LC, who had planned the games. They had 'guess the baby food' where jars were passed out & had to guess which kind, that was funny. (I got 3 of 4 right - the bananas did not look or smell like a banana at all). And then the funniest game was the 'guess the candy bar'. This one I didn't play because I saw them setting it up. They had a few diapers & melted various candy bars which then went into the diaper to look like a used diapee! It was funny to see everyone trying to smell it to guess, lol. I was nice & didn't take any pics of anyone with their nose buried completely in the diaper. I can't wait to see all the pics (I handed off my camera) and will post a few once I download them. My dad came at the end to load up everything and I took their SUV home. I ended up getting home late (spent the evening visiting with family) so Jack brought everything in today. It took up about 1/2 of the nursery! I've got a lot of work to do in there this week!

Thanks again to everyone!